Popular Tailors.

This story led me to muse about some other stories connected to tailors.

The earliest one that I remember was being taken to a shop that sold ready made school uniforms run by an old Madras entrepreneur. He made the unfortunate mistake of making friends with my father and so, the three siblings were all marched to his shop to get made to order uniforms as ready made rates.

A little older I learnt about another famous story now known throughout the length and breadth of my glorious country -about my father’s acquaintanceship with Muhammed Ali Jinnah the connection being the sharing of the same tailor that suited both of them.
Appa
Jinnah

The photo on top is of my father and the one at the bottom is of Jinnah. Both are dated 1944, three years before the partition when both gentlemen lived in Bombay. I was one year old at the time and do not remember meeting the great man who is reputed to have pinched my cheeks and commented something to the effect of what a grand looking fellow I was.

Subsequently, I had many tailors who outfitted me as was the term for tailors stitching clothes for men. When we moved to Pune in 1990, I zeroed in on a remarkable young man Riaz who continues to outfit me even till today though he is left with only one tailor/cutter as the business has shifted to ready made garments.

When Manjiree came into our home last August, she took one look at my wardrobe and marched me to a garment shop and bought me some jeans and fancy shirts while ensuring that I junked most of my old fashioned garments. I duly did that but cheated her by rarely if ever wearing those new clothes to go out and wearing our traditional kurta/pajama ensembles. She cannot complain as that is our national dress and is not subject to the vagaries of fashion.

It is a pity that I cannot produce another famous personality outfitted by Riaz and his merry men with who I can share some reflected glory.

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18 Responses to Popular Tailors.

  1. In spite of my buffalo petite size I have only used a tailor once. It was an interesting experience for us both – he was a diminutive Chinese gentleman and le smiled when we met and said do not worry sir – many of my customers play for the 49ers (SF football team) – I enjoy the challenge with you big guys. He then told me why I should never wear button-down collar shirts (my faves) and spent an hour or so taking measurements. A couple of weeks later a blazer, pair of slacks and suit along with a dozen shirts appeared at my door. Easilythe nicest stuff I have ever owned. These days it’s shorts, athletic shoes and tee shirts (long sleeved) for me.

  2. Max Coutinho says:

    Hi Rummy,

    I love tailors. Their craft is so precious and beautiful (especially when they are good).
    Your father was a very handsome and distinct man – you clearly took it after him 🙂

    Cheers
    Max Coutinho recently posted..Oslo Accords Vs State of Palestine: A Waste of Time

  3. tammyj says:

    i wish your father’s actions toward you were as beautiful as his outward appearance.
    and jinnah. my. both of them were handsome stylish men!
    i followed your links… as i always do. very interesting.
    and i had to laugh… when jinnah insisted on being fully dressed when he was ill and dying… not wanting to ‘travel in his pajamas!”
    elegance and a sense of humor right to the end!
    tammyj recently posted..all you can stand

    • From all accounts, Jinnah was a grand man. It is a pity that Jawaharlal Nehru won the leadership of the INC with the support of Gandhi. We are still paying the price.

  4. My mother was our tailor/seamstress when we were young. She was a very talented sewer. Now I wear very simple and comfortable clothes, and I’m not interested in variety. I’d rather think about other things.
    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Spring

  5. nick says:

    I posted a comment but it disappeared. Perhaps it’s being moderated?
    nick recently posted..The jury’s out

  6. Other than my wedding dress and the attendants’ dresses, which were created by a talented dressmaker who could look at a picture and sew it up; I have never had tailored clothing. (BTW, “tailored” clothing has a different connotation in the U.S. but I am conforming to your usage.) I made most of my own clothes and those of my children through their grade school years. That was a two-fold advantage: 1. Saving money and 2. Providing an outlet for my creativity.
    Talk to Me…I’m Your Mother recently posted..All-Over-The-Earth Day

    • My late mother and my late wife both sewed their own clothes though the things they stitched were simpler than Western clothes. It was quite common then though it is now a more or less a disappeared skill.

  7. Grannymar says:

    In the mid 1960s my father brought me on a tour of his customers. One establishment was two gentlemen bespoke tailors who had moved into the world of female fashions. They had produced a line in trouser suits for women, using a fabric supplied by my father. In those days I was the ‘sample’ size and was invited to “don the garment and walk up the floor” so my father could see how the fabric hung. I did! The suit was wonderful, a long sleeved tunic jacket with stand up collar. The trousers fascinated me for two reasons: They had the zip at the front like a man’s suit and the legs were satin lined to below the knees. Up until that day, all ladies trousers had the zip along the hip line at the left hand side. The suit was so comfortable, I did not want to take it off!

    When I asked about the zip and lining, one of the gentlemen spoke to me in a very gentle way saying “My dear, A zip should not be placed on either hip in ladies trousers, it would unbalance the smooth line, and we lined the legs, because you would not like the fabric chaffing a ladies tender skin”. The lesson I learned that day, stayed with me all my life and every pair of trousers I made were finished in that way.
    Grannymar recently posted..Sunday One liners ~ 27

    • That is quite a story. Yes, Urmeela always insisted on lining inside her slacks that she wore for most of our married life and discarded only when she fell ill.

  8. Vignesh says:

    Yes. Rajappa (RR’s father, another RR) recounts that story about Jinnah using his tailor (not the other way around :-D) when I meet him a few month before he left to catch up with Jinnah. I’m proud that K stitched most of her clothes till she got into college. She makes the most wonderful looking dresses.
    Love to hear Arvind Rajgopaul re-tell the story about the getting uniforms stitched for the 3 of you, and how the tailor is encouraged to leave a little more slack ( no pun) in the measurements, and just a little more and finally a little bit more just to be sure. Growing boys and all that. i remember AR telling Appa this at the RA Puram house. 🙂

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